The fan base is losing their shit. Just listen to Reid Wilkins and Rob Brown’s Oilers post-game show. It’s not often they have to hang up on folks for their language but I know this week alone there were two instances. But who can blame the fans, this Oilers team continues to play the same skill game that has gotten them exactly nowhere and as fans, what are we to expect and how are we to react to ten years of futility, 5 first overall picks, and a grand total of zero playoff games. ZERO MEANINGFUL GAMES PAST JANUARY!
That game versus the Florida Panthers was a loss but it was a loss fans respect. Why? Because the Oilers looked like they gave a shit. Ask any Oilers fan who they’d rather have, Ryan Smyth or Ales Hemsky? Smyth 99.99999% of the time because he played a game everyone respects. I’d much rather the team lose these types of games than the ones we’ve been watching this month.
The make up of this roster is all wrong for the league, the conference, and the division. Peter Chiarelli can’t be held accountable this season as he’s only had until now to evaluate his team and it’s not even a proper evaluation anyhow due to all the injuries.
With that said, this deadline will go two ways:
- Huge: meaning that PC makes a major deal.
- Disappointing: meaning only a couple of players are dealt and for picks/prospects.
If it’s the latter of the two, we’ll have to go through this once again in the week leading up to the draft and the draft day. Will he make a big splash during the draft or will he leave the roster as it is and look to evaluate it as a whole starting in 2016? And if he can’t find a way to alter the way this roster is constructed then the team is doomed for yet another year.
I am certain that this Oilers team could survive without Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle or both going forth. Losing those goals would hurt but Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov (maybe) are point producing forwards that only need complimentary wingers at a fraction of the price that Hall and Eberle are costing them and I think it’s about time everyone wakes up and stops sucking off of their tit. They are the highest value bargaining chips in the Oilers’ possession and must be used to bring in the necessary pieces to create balance on this roster.
Are they good? Yes. Very good. How many of us are mesmerized by Eberle’s World Juniors goal or his 1st one in the NHL over his constant defensive brainfarts.
Are they carrying this team? Only to more playoff-less seasons.
Is it their fault? No. They’re the product of a team built by maniacal schizophreniacs who believed that they could recreate the 1980s Edmonton Oilers.
Should they be held accountable? Yes, of course they should.
Are they being held accountable? It’s debatable. Maybe by the Hockey Gods.
What does the team need? High-end two-way forwards. Players that can take care of the game at both ends of the ice. Players that are willing to go to the areas of the ice where the most goals are scored. Players that HAVE a problem playing on the perimeter and prefer to get stuck in.
So what I’m wondering, because one of the biggest issues this season has been the team’s defence and the consensus is that the team just needs one or two blue liners that can make a quality pass to the forwards so they can break into the offensive zone, if the forwards are the ones that are charged with the responsibility of scoring the majority of the goals and they’re all perimeter players looking for the perfect opportunity to score; what is going to change with the addition of Sami Vatanen or Travis Hamonic? The only thing that will change is that they have the puck more… on the perimeter.
If we’re talking about adding to the top 6 a player or players that have no intention of pussy-footing it out there then the Oilers have to pursue players like, Kyle Okposo, Milan Lucic, Boone Jenner, Wayne Simmonds, Leo Komarov, or David Backes. These are players that can not only score, shoot, and hit but they are the type of leaders the Oilers have been missing since Bill Guerin left town. Kassian, to a lesser extent, is cut from this cloth but we’re still taking notes on his game right now.
If McLellan’s M.O. to the team is to chip and place, then they’re going to need the players that are willing to go to the areas of the ice that hold the most risk. Until hitting is taken right out of the NHL, it’s still part of the game and this team needs players that are willing to initiate contact and open up space for their teammates. They need players who know when it’s time to shoot for a goal or a rebound. Players that could hit the net would be nice too.
Are you not sick and tired of watching this team pick and choose when it decides to play? When it decides to turn up the heat. I mean I was reading a conversation between other bloggers and one of the things I read was that good teams get good bounces. I’m sorry, that’s a bullshit line and a great excuse for the team that isn’t good. You create your own bounces on the ice and in life. You dictate and set the terms.
Simply put. I’m not sure if a lot of players on this Oilers team believe in each other or maybe themselves for that matter. Why isn’t there a Captain on this team? No leader worthy of the ‘C’, that’s why. Not Hall, Nuge, Hendricks, Eberle, Sekera, McDavid, or the ghost of Eddie Shore could will this team into giving a horse’s patoot. I don’t believe that players tasked with being responsible for this team’s leadership are willing to change the way they play the game so that they can achieve the playoffs they’ve never had.
In Chiarelli I trust.